Qur'an holder, late 19th–early 20th century
Central Asia and Iran
Silver with silver filigree and cabochon– and table–cut turquoises; Leather strap: 17 13/16 x 1 13/16 in. (45.2 x 4.7 cm); Qur'an case: 7 x 7 13/16 in. (17.8 x 19.8 cm)
Gift of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, 2005 (2005.443.8)
This Qur'an holder is a doga-kumus, a small box that hangs from a chain or a leather strap that was hung over the shoulder or around the neck. This type of silver jewelry was used to keep Muslim prayers, talismans, keys, or coins, and was typically worn by older women. According to an eighteenth-century legend, these hanging Qur'an holders symbolize Islamic power over evil spirits. The front of the box is decorated with gilded and embossed silver disks in half-moon and triangle shapes, set with carnelians. Silver wire and horn motifs decorate the border of the plates and twelve spherical pendants hang from six double-link chains.